Professional poker players across the world all have a different tale to tell on how they came to get started in their favorite sport. World Poker Tournament champion Theo Jørgensen recalls making $2 bluffs with his school buddies back when he was in grade school. Latin American Poker Tour champion Jose Barbero spent hundreds of hours playing Magic the Gathering before deciding on stepping it up to poker. European Poker Tour champion Liv Boeree graduated with a physics degree before by chance she was first introduced to the game.
Much like many other enthusiasts these days, World Series of Poker bracelet-holder Phil Galfond got started mainly playing online poker at $10 Sit-n-Gos. Losing his first $50, he decided to re-buy, and since then he’s managed to turn that $50 into over $10 million in online earnings. Now that was a smart re-buy.
For Phil Galfond, he was using poker as his college job, reading a few books on the game and playing with PokerTracker. Arguably, online poker offers the best environment for a player to hone their skills. The biggest advantage is the ability to multi-table, increasing the number of hands they can play with per hour. An 8-hour session in a casino averages 200-250 hands, whereas six-tabling online would see 3,000 hands. The speed at which they can gain experience – perhaps the most important prerequisite to becoming a pro – is light years ahead in online poker.
Phil continued to improve his game using online poker exclusively for some time. A bit of an obsessive, he considered online poker like a video game. He moved up to $20 games, then $30, then $50. He spent less time on college and more time on his passion – poker.
There’s a point in any poker enthusiast’s life where the idea of “going pro” first takes hold. Usually after one’s first big win, or a long winning streak where their bankroll is steadily increasing, the idea of playing their favorite game for a living becomes an enticing idea. It was at this point that Phil headed to a $10k World Poker Tour event in Mississippi to test himself on live games.
Phil busted out early in his first competition, but came back strong in his second. Playing with the venerable Doyle Brunson and “Kid Poker” Daniel Negreanu on his table, Phil gained a respect and love for playing in live tournament games. Even for online poker lovers, live games have much to offer. Generally a more social atmosphere, games are less aggressive and there are far, far more amateurs playing. It often doesn’t feel like working at all – a poker player gets to play their favorite game, chat with friends and their concentration level doesn’t need to be at 100% all the time. Phil was particularly taken by Negreanu, who seemed to just love chatting with everyone at the table.
As Phil now often says, it’s important for online poker players to get outside and get some balance in their life, and live games offer an easy way to do this while still honing skills.
Online Poker as an Ongoing Learning Tool
From there, Phil continued to play mainly on online games during the next few years, and even moved to Vancouver Canada, as the legal actions against online poker took place in 2011 in the U.S. So he can continue playing online. Like everyone else he’s had his fair share of bad beats, but his strategy to get over them is to come up with a plan for the next day that will improve on whatever problem his game had.
Most pros now typically dabble in both online and offline play, even if not publicly. For example, despite winning over $1.8 million in live tournaments since that Mississippi tournament and becoming an ambassador for the sport, Phil spends most of his time on tables online, amassing over $10 million dollars in online earnings.
The benefits of online poker, coupled with the real logistical difficulties of making a living purely as a live poker player, makes online poker the only sensible choice for a player to build and maintain their bankroll on a week-to-week basis.
Online players, what do they want?
Online poker has made it possible for anyone in the world to become a poker pro in a blisteringly short period of time and therefore is a big temptation for players who wants to earn big like Phil Galfond. Players are attracted to high number of tournaments in parallel, as one of the online poker biggest benefits is the multi- table. So every Poker website owner should seek how to attract more and more players, veterans or new to the game, lure them with advertising in all gaming connected articles, sites, tournaments etc. keep them coming back with special offers they can use, such as funds , doubling investments and or even a third party analyze software, all these while continuously reminding them of role models who started the same way like Phil Galfond story, and all the benefits like rake back, multi-table, jump up and down stakes quickly, choose the best games, run analysis software on their own plays and on others, and make it on their own hours.
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This article was written by admin_algocharge